“We knew that services like Grubhub and DoorDash only cover a sliver of the businesses that are open and struggling to find a foothold in the online marketplace,” says Rich Overmoyer, CEO of Fourth Economy, who helped organize the effort as part of Allegheny Together. “Our team is full of regular fish fry attendees, so inspired by the Pittsburgh Fish Fry Map, we decided to put our resources together and publish a map of businesses that are open.”
Allegheny Together was originally started in 2007 by Allegheny County Economic Development to provide technical assistance and strategic planning for municipalities looking to revitalize their main business districts. They hired Pittsburgh-based consultants Fourth Economy and evolve environment:architecture in 2019.
With the COVID-19 crisis, they immediately launched a survey of Allegheny County businesses, to see what they were dealing with.
“While collecting that information, we realized that we could simultaneously capture who is still open for business and turn around and tell the community about it,” says Overmoyer.
It works like any other Google map.
“We see people zooming in to where they live and finding the businesses within walking distance that they didn’t realize had curbside pickup or finding a restaurant that isn’t on their delivery app that has takeout or even finding a boutique that has a website selling goods,” says Overmoyer.
“It’s going to take a lot of work to get some ‘mom and pop shops’ caught up to the capabilities of e-commerce, and we wanted to give them a leg up by offering a space to show Pittsburghers how they can support local businesses more easily.”
They’ll publish whatever information they have — from operating hours to addresses to curbside pickup or delivery. “If it’s a retail business, we include their website so people can support them by buying local online,” says Overmoyer.
If you have a business and want to be added to the map, you’re invited to fill out the survey. The map is updated several times a week, as survey responses come in.